Alumna and graduate student Tiffany Soares ’17 was named a finalist in the Fulbright U.S. Student Program and will travel to Spain’s La Rioja region to teach English as a second language.
A first-generation American, Soares grew up in East Brunswick, New Jersey, speaking English and Portuguese and dreaming of someday teaching English as a second language. “I have a personal connection with immigration stories, diaspora and the yearning to learn English as a means to a better life,” she explains. “My family’s journey through this – and the inspiration of hearing my father’s stories of beginning school in the United States as a non-native speaker – has fueled me to pursue a career in teaching English as a second language.”
Soares was also a four-year recipient of the James Patterson Teacher Education Scholarship. This scholarship was established to support the next generation of teachers as they work to learn their craft, foster learning and, particularly, inspire a love of reading.
As an undergraduate at Montclair State, Soares majored in linguistics and minored in Spanish, before continuing her education in the University’s Teacher Education Program, which is recognized both nationally and internationally. The University is ranked among the nation’s top 100 institutions for education by U.S. News & World Report’s 2018 “Best Graduate Schools.”
Soares follows Jeremy Fishman, a 2017 Fulbright U.S. Student Program finalist who traveled to Taiwan, where he has been teaching English as a second language.
“Montclair State provides excellent preparation and an ideal foundation for students seeking Fulbright grants and Tiffany’s success reflects that,” says Director of Study Abroad and International Programs Domenica Dominguez. “This year, we had six applicants to the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. Two were semifinalists – and Tiffany became a finalist.”
While Soares is just the eighth Fulbright finalist in Montclair State’s 110-year history, the University has long been involved with the program in various capacities.
Faculty currently serve on its Fulbright Campus Committee, which interviews and evaluates all of the University’s applicants. Faculty members have also received Fulbright Scholar Grants and the University has enrolled more than 50 international Fulbright students across all colleges and schools.